Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped many legal practices choose the right document management software so they can digitize files and improve document security.

Showing 1-20 of 127 products

PracticePanther Legal

PracticePanther Legal Software is a legal management solution for small to large practices specializing in areas including bankruptcy, personal injury, family, divorce, estate planning, litigation, criminal law and many more. The system... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 110 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Clio

Clio is a cloud-based legal practice management solution suitable for small to large law firms. The platform enables lawfirms and other businesses in the legal industry to track important deadlines, manage client cases and documents,... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 98 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Filevine

Filevine is a cloud-based case management solution for small and midsize legal firms and legal professionals. It helps in managing case documents, communication and project management. Key features include bill and expense tracking,... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 77 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Amicus Online

With Amicus Online legal practice management software you can access your practice 24/7 from any computer or mobile device. Combine your contacts, cases and calendar in an intuitive system that helps you stay efficient. This next-generation... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 75 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Tabs3

Tabs3 Software offers practice management, case management and financials for small to midsize firms in any practice area. Tabs3 enables legal professionals to manage their schedule and matters as well as track their time and bill... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 39 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: On premise
Business Size:
Learn More

MyCase

MyCase is a cloud-based legal management solution that helps attorneys in small size law firms to manage communications with their clients and carry out daily business operations. The solution also provides functionalities for accounting... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 34 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

SmartAdvocate

Conceptualized by a partner at a personal injury law firm, SmartAdvocate is a legal management platform that offers flexible deployment options and a modular suite of applications.  In addition to case management, attorneys and their... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 25 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

Zola Suite

Zola Suite is a cloud-based legal practice management solution for law firms of all sizes. Key features include task management, built-in email, document management, client portals, calendar, contact management, automation, reporting... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Smokeball

Smokeball is a complete cloud-based legal productivity software to automatically record time for you, allowing you to increase your firm’s profitability and productivity by over 30%. Whether you bill hourly, fixed fee, or on contingency,... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
Business Size:
Learn More

TimeSolv Legal

TimeSolv is a cloud-based legal time tracking and billing solution that caters to law firms, accountants, consultants, architects, and freelancers, helping them manage daily business operations. TimeSolv integrates project management... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

MerusCase

MerusCase is a cloud-based legal practice management solution for small, midsize and large legal firms and businesses. It is HIPAA compliant and offers document management, time tracking, billing, calendaring and communication tools. The... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Needles Case Management

Needles is the case management solution that 2,000+ of top law firms trust to optimize workflow and maximize bottom line. Combining our legal know-how with next-gen innovation, our web-based solution, Needles Neos puts even more tools... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

AbacusLaw

AbacusLaw is case automation software designed explicitly for law firms. The system works as a complete practice management solution that helps in managing workflows including time tracking, billing, and accounting operations. AbacusLaw... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
Business Size:
Learn More

ProTempus

ProTempus is an on-premise practice management solution designed for small law firms. Key features include timekeeping/billing, contact management, document management, case management, AR, AP, GL and trust accounting. Two clicks make... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
Business Size:
Learn More

Prevail Case Management

Prevail is a one-stop-shop for managing your legal matters. The tools available to Prevail users are tightly integrated. This integration gives Prevail the ability to do multiple things automatically as a result of one action taken... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: Win
Deployments: On premise
Business Size:
Learn More

CloudLex

CloudLex a cloud-based legal management solution built exclusively for plaintiff personal injury law firms of all sizes. CloudLex’s Matter Manager enables users to collaborate through matter-specific communication tools and organize... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

Legal Files

Legal Files is an on-premise legal case and matter management solution for corporations, government agencies, universities and insurance agencies. The solution enables legal professionals and others to manage vital information, including... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

Mitratech

Mitratech is a legal management system suitable for midsize to large corporate law firms. Key features include case management, contact management, document management, calendaring and docketing, time tracking, billing and invoicing... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

CasePacer

CasePacer is a personal injury case management solution that helps legal practices manage case details, documents, negotiations, and settlements, among other activities. The built in Automatic Workflow keeps the firm on the... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
Business Size:
Learn More

LegalEdge

LegalEdge is a Case and Matter management solution for government; city and county attorneys, agencies, tribal government and school districts as well as prosecutors and public defenders. Civil Case screens include claims, contracts,... Read more

Price:

Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
Business Size:
Learn More

Buyers guide


Last Updated: November 6, 2020

Law firms face unique document management challenges. Largest among them: the very high quantity of paper documents legal practices use. Legal documents are also subject to varying confidentiality and privacy regulations, which mandate how these documents can be accessed, stored, changed and distributed.

Within the broad genre of content management software (CMS) is a category that addresses the specific challenges law firms face: legal document management software. To help your law firm better understand this software and make a more informed purchase decision, we'll cover the following:

What is legal document management software?

It is a form of document management software made specifically for lawyers, law firms, or any entity operating in the field of law. It is distinct from legal practice management software, which has a broader set of functionality, including tools to keep the firm's internal processes and external filings on time and on track.

Legal document management software is intended to help firms achieve a variety of goals. Speaking broadly, these goals include:

  • Increasing productivity by making documents easier to find, search, access, and share.
  • Improving the security and confidentiality of important documents by preventing unauthorized access.
  • Adding consistency to internal and external documents by managing all of them through a common platform.

Common functionality of legal document management software

To achieve the above-listed goals, software products will include some or all of the following features and tools:

Document capture tools Scan paper documents and convert them into digital files, including image files, PDFs, and text files.
PDF tools PDF is the file format of choice for most legal document management systems: PDF tools help create, edit, manage, and add signatures to such files.
Advanced search Helps users find documents quickly by looking for specific text strings within documents and by filtering with metadata.
Access control Controls who can access, change, and distribute digital documents. Keeps logs of access activities and summarizes them in reports.
Organizational tools Automates the documentation and management of cases, including approvals, role permissions, and other necessary steps.
Version control Ensures that changes to documents do not delete older versions, preserving them in case they need to be used again.
Integration tools Incorporate document management functionalities directly into other software tools, such as email clients, CRM systems, and court filing systems.

Some specialized software may also include, or integrate with, electronic signature functionality, which facilitates the legally-binding signing of documents on computers or mobile devices.

Key considerations

Here are some key points to keep in mind during your search for a legal document management system:

Data security: Along with health and financial information, legal information is subject to some of the strictest regulatory oversight, and its management can be subject to local, state, and federal statutes. Protecting digital information from theft and unauthorized access should be the primary concern for law firms considering implementation of a document management system.

Legal document management platforms increase data security in a number of ways. Many make use of a centralized portal through which all access to the system is controlled. Others use two-step authentication methods to ensure that new logins have been authenticated through two different means (e.g., email, phone, or text message).

Extent of digitization: When implementing legal document management software, many law offices mistakenly believe that all existing and future paper documents will be converted to digital. This incorrect assumption can lead to problems and delays down the line.

As suggested by the American Bar Association, law offices should use document management systems to increase the number of "low paper workflows." Working toward an entirely "paperless office" can be practical in some industries, but because of the sheer volume of paper documents involved, this is an impractical goal for law firms. Instead, firms should identify which processes stand to gain the most from digitization, and began with the documents associated with those.

Pricing and purchasing options

Cloud-based products are typically sold via subscription license, meaning law firms would pay a recurring fee to use the software. Subscription licenses are commonly priced per user per month (some vendors offer discounts for annual contracts). This fee includes the cost for support, maintenance, annual updates, and hosting.

Hosting on the vendor's servers means that law firms won't incur the IT costs associated with maintaining legal files on their own internal servers. As such, cloud-based software generally is less expensive upfront, although over time the costs of on-premise and cloud-based systems may converge.

Due to data security requirements, law firms should make certain that any cloud-based system they consider offers encryption services, bank-grade security, and frequent data backups to ensure the safety and confidentiality of their clients' legal documents.

On-premise solutions are most-often sold via perpetual license, meaning law offices pay an upfront fee to own the software. Firms would also be responsible for the costs associated with maintaining client data on their own internal servers, a responsibility that would likely necessitate on-site IT staff.

Additionally, law firms can purchase document management software as a standalone, or best-of-breed solution, or as an application within a larger practice management platform. Firms purchasing a standalone system should check that the product integrates with the other software they are currently using, such as their case management solution or legal accounting system.